Geldof seeks to raise $1bn for African investment plan
7 September 2010
Bob Geldof, the singer and campaigner for aid to Africa, is seeking to raise $1bn from institutional investors for a private equity venture on the continent. Among other pledges towards the fund, the African Development Bank has earmarked $50m. The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private sector arm, has offered a similar amount. Mr Geldof also committed an undisclosed amount of his own money. The fund, called 8 Miles, would be run by Mark Florman, a former executive at UK buy-out house Doughty Hanson, who has recruited experienced Africans to work on the venture. It intends to make about 20 investments of between $15m and $80m in agribusinesses, financial services and telecommunications. Mr Geldof hoped to launch the venture as early as two years ago but plans have been delayed by the global financial crisis and the fund has yet to hold a first close, which would secure money to start investing. Among others that Mr Geldof has approached for advice on the venture are Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese-born telecoms tycoon turned philanthropist, and Arki Busson, the founder of hedge fund EIM. He has also discussed his plans with Tony Blair, the former British prime minister who sits with Mr Geldof on the Africa Progress Panel, monitoring donor commitments towards increased aid to Africa. .Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools.
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